Following the uproar and protests surrounding the royal three-country trip to the Caribbean this week, Prince William reportedly made “last-minute changes” to his speeches, according to a royal commentator.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paid visits to Belize, Jamaica, and the Bahamas this week to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. However, following calls for slavery reparations and demands for an apology for the Royal Family’s role in the slave trade, the royal tour was met with criticism and protests.
According to Sky News‘ royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills, the Duke of Cambridge is said to have made “last-minute changes” to his speeches during the trip as a result of the uproar. She reacted to William’s closing statements that the Royal Family would welcome any decision by Jamaica, Belize, or the Bahamas to secede from the British monarchy with “pride and respect.”
As per Express, he also stated that he expects the Commonwealth would be led by someone other than a member of the Royal Family at some point in the future.
Ms. Mills said: “Strong words from a future king who we are told has been listening. “Conversations with prime ministers in all the host countries led to last-minute changes to some of his speeches.” The royal correspondent continued: “It is striking to acknowledge so clearly that he believes it may not just be Commonwealth realms cutting ties with the Royal Family but also the wider Commonwealth.
“The fact that he is here representing the Queen makes it more than likely that his words were endorsed, in some way, from the top.” It’s unclear what alterations William made during the royal visit to the remarks.
Images from the tour have been criticized by certain British and foreign media, including the royals shaking hands with Jamaican youngsters through wire fences and standing on an open-top truck to watch a military parade, which resembled Queen Elizabeth doing the same thing in the 1950s.
William’s farewell remarks are anticipated to resonate throughout the Caribbean, where the Queen is the head of state in five other countries. Last year, in a ceremony attended by William’s father, the Prince of Wales, Barbados took the landmark step of replacing the Queen as head of state.
After Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness claimed his country was “moving on” from the monarchy, the statements may be interpreted as a recognition that change is occurring. Also in his parting comments, the Duke said: “Who the Commonwealth chooses to lead its family in the future isn’t what is on my mind.
“What matters to us is the potential the Commonwealth family has to create a better future for the people who form it and our commitment to serve and support as best we can.
“I know that this tour has brought into even sharper focus questions about the past and the future. “In Belize, Jamaica, and the Bahamas, that future is for the people to decide upon. “But we have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with communities in all three countries, understanding more about the issues that matter most to them.”